UPDATE: Minhas Brewery recognizes first responders after November fire

By: Max Hess - Email
By: Max Hess - Email
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UPDATED Saturday, June 14, 2014 -- 10:00 p.m.

It was a fire that rocked the city of Monroe.

When the Minhas Brewery lit up on November 21st of last year, countless first responders from 16 communities were there within minutes.

"It took about a half an hour to get the main fire out and it took about six hours to get all the hot spots out, so firemen did a good job," said Gary Olson, Minhas' president of brewery operations.

Today, that quick and stellar response was rewarded.

"Thank you to the firemen, thanks for saving us, thanks for saving our brewery, and giving us the opportunity to rebuild," Olson said.

The heme was "prohibition era", in light of a movie the Minhas brewery put together.

Olson called it a "night of celebration and thank you to the firemen, celebrating the renewal of our brewery, and the grand opening of our tourist center and our distillery".

For first responders, there was free beer, a bite to eat and a carpet just as red as the fire that night.

"It could have been a disaster," said Steve Isely, chief of the Juda Fire Department and one of the first people on scene the night of the fire.

"It's great to be honored, you know, this is something that we volunteer to do because we care for everybody else in the community and we're here to help everybody."

Now, just as the firefighters helped Minhas that night, Minhas is helping them.

"It's very friendly and everybody, this is all people you've worked with in the past or you know half the people that are here," Isely said.

The small town community feel kept growing tonight -- wrapped up by glamorous pics, sips of free brews, and memories of a night that could have been much worse.

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2013 --- 5:45 p.m.

Monroe --- All you could see last November was smoke, fire trucks, and people wondering if years of history at Minhas Brewery would turn into ash after a fire.

Gary Olson, is the brewery president, and got the news by phone, the night 16 different fire departments surrounded the historic building.

"I said Mike hold off for a moment, wait for the sirens to go by, so I can hear you. He said, they're not going by. They're stopping here the brewery's on fire," said Olson.

It started inside this stairwell, by a construction crew on site.

"The equipment they were using to spray some solution on the walls, the equipment caught on fire," said Olson.

After millions spent on damages, the brewery is finally bouncing back. In June, they're even hosting a party, with a new beer on tap.

It's to thank everyone who helped save over 100 years of history that night.

"We're really happy that the fire department did such a great job, and we're back and bigger and better then we were before the fire," said Olson.


UPDATED Thursday, November 21, 2013 --- 7:00 p.m.

Monroe --- Multiple crews responded to a fire at the Minhas Craft Brewery, Thursday afternoon.

The Monroe Police Department says crews were called at 2:28 p.m.

Green County Emergency Management says, the fire started on an upper level from equipment used by a third party construction company.

Everyone in the brewery was evacuated safely, with no injuries. However, one firefighter was taken to an area hospital, and was treated for smoke inhalation.

Minhas Brewery has been in Monroe for more than 160 years. Right now, the amount of damage is unknown.


Posted Thursday, November 21, 2013 --- 3:13 p.m.

Multiple crews are responding to a fire at the Minhas Craft Brewery in Monroe.

Green Co. authorities are not releasing many details at this time.

NBC15 has a crew on the way. We'll post updates as soon as they are available.

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